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Lauren’s Language Journey

Written by Ilona Ellonen

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Hi there! I’m Lauren. I’m 21 years old and I come from a rural village in the British countryside. In the past three years I have lived, worked and studied in three different countries. Why? I study languages… and it has changed my life. This is my language learning journey!

School

I was first introduced to language study at age 11. I had a less-than-enthusiastic French teacher who made us recite conjugations for the entire lesson. Needless to say, this was not the beginning of my language love affair. At age 12, I began taking Spanish lessons. My teacher was fantastic and completely changed my outlook. She was motivated and excited to teach us. She created lessons with varied resources and activities which integrated language teaching with cultural knowledge.

I continued these classes throughout school and, at age 18, I used my Spanish skills to create an original piece of coursework for my History class. I was proud to learn I had received a grade of 100% due to the dual-disciplinary nature of the essay. This success secured my place at Durham University to study BA Modern Languages and Cultures which has opened up a world of opportunities.

” What is certain is my passion for languages and adventure. With this, I can go anywhere.”

– Lauren Blake

University

After my first year of university, I moved to Spain for the summer. I lived in a tent for three months and worked as a receptionist on a campsite. While the work was not glamorous, the dreary British weather could not compare and I spent my days-off at the beach. It also gave me the opportunity to travel across much of the beautiful Catalonian coast.

In August 2019, I moved to Milan to work as a Project Management Assistant at an NGO- the most amazing and eye-opening six months! I gained valuable employment skills, learned to interact like a local, travelled across Italy (and Switzerland!) on my weekends and gorged on delicious Italian food.

Duomo di Milano

In January of this year, I moved straight from Milan to Madrid to study at the University of Alcalá. I made some amazing friends, visited every art gallery in the city, and learnt the bachata! 

University of Alcalá

Finally, my journey arrives into the present day. In March, the growing threat of Covid-19 sadly sent me home and I have spent my last few months reminiscing about my limited days under the Spanish sun. However, all was not lost. My university tutors provided online classes for the rest of the semester so I was able to continue my language studies from home. In October, I will return to university but who knows what the future holds? What is certain is my passion for languages and adventure. With this, I can go anywhere.

Written by Lauren Blake – Student Language Ambassador

If you’re a language teacher dedicated to inspiring others, check out our Language Ambassador Program

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